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Discussion Starter #61
You can mix and match sub drivers size and even brand. It will cause some issues if you mix brands or types, but size isn't that big of a deal. But for ease (if you aren't entirely sure how to balance output and sound) keeping everything the same is your best bet.
LOL, I'm not entirely sure about anything..... that's why I ask so many stupid questions
But I'd rather ask a stupid question than make a stupid mistake
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Testing 1, 2, 3

My plan is to do audio testing as the build progresses, I am a kinda analytical and would like to see if the changes do really make a difference.
Also to identify and issues (I sure there will be some) that need to be corrected
I hope (but doubt) they will be as helpful as the @ganroth testing

Testing that I would like to do:
1) Affect of DD with green glue between joist for foot fall and sound transmission
2) Change in room when acoustical treatment applied, in stages (e.g screen wall treatment)
3) How bad does the drop ceiling change the room
4) Tuning of the room / speakers
5) DIY speaker testing (this might be ambitious of me)
6) any others that people might think are use full
Any suggestions on testing methods and procedure are very welcome

So the discussion becomes which measurement system to use and does it enable me to do all the tests I want.
As I see it there are two options REW or OMNIMIC


REW
Pros: free software, calibrated, lots of tutorials and online support, inexpensive (well kind of... see below)
Cons: Need a laptop and AVR that has HDMI, "tethered" to AVR, more difficult to set up


OMNIMIC:
Pros: calibrated, easy setup, can use older laptop, no HDMI required, not "tethered"
Cons: expensive (well relative to just a mic for REW), not seeing a lot of tutorials out there


Price discussion becomes a little tricky as:
1) I am in Canada and it is crazy how much more it is for things up here, shipping, duty and our current exchange rate is not helping that at all (e.g. The omnimic will be around $400 CAD)
2) I have and old laptop, no HDMI
3) Old AVR (no HMDI) that will need to be replaced but was going to hold off to see if prices drop or there are changes to HDMI versions. Don't want to buy and it take 3yrs to finish basement and now have an "old" AVR


Can I do all the testing I want to with one of these units?
Are my pros/cons accurate?
What are others using and what do you recommend?
 

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Test 1 - This test is doable, but other than for your own information I am not sure it is needed. The science and proven outcome of DD and Green Glue has been shown many, many, many times. Thinking about details a bit closer, are you putting up DD and GG and then installing a drop ceiling? If not, the drop ceiling will be your weakest link and the DD and GG used everywhere else will be nearly useless.

Test 2 - This test is doable, but you will need to have the room 95% complete before making these measurements. You'll need the furniture and decor in the room prior to testing.

Test 3 - Not sure how you would test this unless you do what I asked about above and have DD and GG installed and then put up a drop ceiling. In my eyes the drop ceiling then becomes and possible money pit and waste of time if you don't like how it sounds.

Test 4 - Is this the same as test #2 ?

Test 5 - Many of the DIY plans have already done this for you and have published freq results. Unless you are going to build one of each possible speaker and listen to it in mono to determine if you like the sound, again possible money pit and waste of time in my opinion. Especially since you mentioned you aren't looking for audiophile performance.

Many of these tests can be done with a simple SPL meter and a test tone disc. Not unless you really want to start chasing down the audiophile performance do you need a high quality mic until you want to EQ your finished room.
 

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You can absolutely do the testing you describe using REW or Omnimic. You're not going to get reference quality accuracy with them, but short of being a lab, it doesn't matter. What mostly matters at this level is relative changes.

As far as REW goes, you absolutely do NOT need HDMI in either the laptop or AVR to use it. I did all of my REW testing to date using a circa 2003 AVR that has nary an HDMI port on it. For that matter, I did some of my earliest testing using a older Bose Wave Radio that has an aux input. If you're just doing relative measurements of things unrelated to your AVR or speakers then noise is noise.

For the microphone, you can either go the USB microphone route or the old-school microphone + amp route. Neither requires HDMI. The latter absolutely works with notably old laptops. Not sure what the limitations are on the USB mics.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Test 1 - This test is doable, but other than for your own information I am not sure it is needed. The science and proven outcome of DD and Green Glue has been shown many, many, many times. Thinking about details a bit closer, are you putting up DD and GG and then installing a drop ceiling? If not, the drop ceiling will be your weakest link and the DD and GG used everywhere else will be nearly useless.
The plan is DD and GG between the floor joists directly under the floor above then the drop ceiling, above is the living room and kitchen which has a lot of foot fall with the 5yr old running around.
I also what to test one layer then two, and see the affect my self rather that a subjective "it sounds better"

Test 2 - This test is doable, but you will need to have the room 95% complete before making these measurements. You'll need the furniture and decor in the room prior to testing. .
I was thinking, just to see the affect of different treatments as it progresses, Like @ganroth did with his riser and stage during construction


Test 3 - Not sure how you would test this unless you do what I asked about above and have DD and GG installed and then put up a drop ceiling. In my eyes the drop ceiling then becomes and possible money pit and waste of time if you don't like how it sounds. .
Curious on this as the drop ceiling is reflective. Drop ceiling is already purchased so it will be what it is. That being said I could look at replacing a few strategic tiles for ceiling absorption

Test 4 - Is this the same as test #2 ?.
No this would be when the room is finished and "tuning" of system

Test 5 - Many of the DIY plans have already done this for you and have published freq results. Unless you are going to build one of each possible speaker and listen to it in mono to determine if you like the sound, again possible money pit and waste of time in my opinion. Especially since you mentioned you aren't looking for audiophile performance..
Good to know, this was just a thought, I will scrub it off the list

Many of these tests can be done with a simple SPL meter and a test tone disc. Not unless you really want to start chasing down the audiophile performance do you need a high quality mic until you want to EQ your finished room.
I do have an inexpensive SPL meter. I figured if I was going to get the mic to do the future EQing and setup then why not get it now for the other tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
You can absolutely do the testing you describe using REW or Omnimic. You're not going to get reference quality accuracy with them, but short of being a lab, it doesn't matter. What mostly matters at this level is relative changes.

As far as REW goes, you absolutely do NOT need HDMI in either the laptop or AVR to use it. I did all of my REW testing to date using a circa 2003 AVR that has nary an HDMI port on it. For that matter, I did some of my earliest testing using a older Bose Wave Radio that has an aux input. If you're just doing relative measurements of things unrelated to your AVR or speakers then noise is noise.

For the microphone, you can either go the USB microphone route or the old-school microphone + amp route. Neither requires HDMI. The latter absolutely works with notably old laptops. Not sure what the limitations are on the USB mics.
I would love to hear how you set up the old laptop and AVR,
With the price of a UMIK-1 at about $165 CAD shipped and not needing a new laptop and AVR right away that would really help keep the cost down


Or is the test tones and SPL meter going to give me the data points that I want
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Maybe I am over complicating things and adding more work to already long list.
The thought was to hopefully aid the forum and other members in there decision making process
 

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Maybe I am over complicating things and adding more work to already long list.
The thought was to hopefully aid the forum and other members in there decision making process
I personally feel that is the case. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple $tupid) :)
 

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Maybe I am over complicating things and adding more work to already long list.
The thought was to hopefully aid the forum and other members in there decision making process
I wouldn't approach this from primarily the perspective of aiding the forum -- you can never tell what kind of impact test results will have in a general sense. Especially since a lot of tests that you can run will tend to be for very use-specific cases and might not be applicable to other people. MIGHT not.

I do a decent amount of testing but it's primarily because my own exacting nature needs this data at some level, even if it was never shared at all. The sharing comes from a second internal drive to help out other people as much as I can and if my data can help, then awesome. If it's ignored, then that's just as okay because I got it for myself initially anyway :p

I would love to hear how you set up the old laptop and AVR,
With the price of a UMIK-1 at about $165 CAD shipped and not needing a new laptop and AVR right away that would really help keep the cost down

Or is the test tones and SPL meter going to give me the data points that I want
Test tones and an SPL meter will give you rough guidelines, but I wouldn't design an acoustic plan or anything with just that. You really need the impulse and frequency graphs with some precision at that point.

To do a REW test, you need some way of generating the noise and then some way of capturing the results that REW can read. The AVR comes in if you are generating the noise via your speakers. I've generated them by just hooking up a TRS-style headphone jack between my laptop and the AVR aux input... but I've also hooked up an iPhone or iPad running an acoustic testing suite on there... and I've even just hooked my laptop (and iPhone and iPad) up to a radio. It just depended on what kind of volume and frequency range I wanted, coupled with what I was trying to test.

To capture the sound, you CAN use an SPL meter if you also have an amp in between your laptop and the meter. Alternatively you can get a calibrated microphone and do the same. Or get a calibrated USB microphone and skip the amp entirely. In any case, the microphone or the amp will be recognized by REW as an accepted input device and it'll take care of analyzing the incoming signals.

I have a Dayton Audio UMM-6 microphone, calibrated by Cross Spectrum Labs. You can get a UMIK-1 from the same group. I do suggest getting a calibrated version from a group like CSL if you are serious enough to be getting a microphone in the first place. It only adds a few dollars to the cost and it's money well spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
I personally feel that is the case. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple $tupid) :)
Hey that's my favorite mantra.... I just don't follow it all the time :eek:

I wouldn't approach this from primarily the perspective of aiding the forum -- you can never tell what kind of impact test results will have in a general sense. Especially since a lot of tests that you can run will tend to be for very use-specific cases and might not be applicable to other people. MIGHT not.

I do a decent amount of testing but it's primarily because my own exacting nature needs this data at some level, even if it was never shared at all. The sharing comes from a second internal drive to help out other people as much as I can and if my data can help, then awesome. If it's ignored, then that's just as okay because I got it for myself initially anyway :p.
Well said. I think we share some of the exacting nature, in my own mind I would like to see the data and yes if someone finds it useful then great

Test tones and an SPL meter will give you rough guidelines, but I wouldn't design an acoustic plan or anything with just that. You really need the impulse and frequency graphs with some precision at that point.

To do a REW test, you need some way of generating the noise and then some way of capturing the results that REW can read. The AVR comes in if you are generating the noise via your speakers. I've generated them by just hooking up a TRS-style headphone jack between my laptop and the AVR aux input... but I've also hooked up an iPhone or iPad running an acoustic testing suite on there... and I've even just hooked my laptop (and iPhone and iPad) up to a radio. It just depended on what kind of volume and frequency range I wanted, coupled with what I was trying to test.

To capture the sound, you CAN use an SPL meter if you also have an amp in between your laptop and the meter. Alternatively you can get a calibrated microphone and do the same. Or get a calibrated USB microphone and skip the amp entirely. In any case, the microphone or the amp will be recognized by REW as an accepted input device and it'll take care of analyzing the incoming signals.

I have a Dayton Audio UMM-6 microphone, calibrated by Cross Spectrum Labs. You can get a UMIK-1 from the same group. I do suggest getting a calibrated version from a group like CSL if you are serious enough to be getting a microphone in the first place. It only adds a few dollars to the cost and it's money well spent.
Ok great. The price shown is from Cross spectrums website. ;)


So I'm assuming @ganroth would vote for REW with mic (correct me if wrong) @deewan what would your vote be for?
I know @Archaea uses Omnimic, would love to here his thoughts on the testing


Again thanks for all your feedback
 

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omnimic just works.


REW has hassles.

I've used both, I've seen both used multiple times.


You can pull the omnimic from my cold dead fingers. I'll give you REW for the price I paid for it.


I don't want to be fiddling around with setup endlessly, and try to iron out weird random problems all the time. I want to pull my mic out, take measurement, and move on. The real-time measement with omnimic is invaluable. I can go to any room with any Windows PC, and take an accurate SPL calibrated measurement in less than a minute. If they have the capability to play a CD or a mp3/wav file (what home theater doesn't?) - that's all I need.


Home Theater Shack reached out to me at one point through PM and asked if I'd consider becoming an official subwoofer reviewer there, but they had a couple conditions - neither of which I was comfortable with. One was to drop Omnimic and start using REW, because REW is promoted there. I'm glad they make a great tool, and it's free, but like I said, I've played with both, and I'm going to pull out the easier to use, hassle free tool every time.


Dessertdome used to be a big proponent of REW, he relatively recently bought an omnimic, and conceded that for ease of use and immediate startup time the omnimic has his vote, and it's what he uses most of the time now, even though he still knows the ins and outs of REW. I know there are guys that love their REW. I'm happy for them, and I'm happy there is a free software option and I truly applaud the design team and ongoing improvement efforts and the fact Home Theater Shack keeps it free. I just like omnimic better for my casual use. The all in one package, with realtime sweeps so you can see exactly on the graph what that 2% angle to-in or physical replacement of the speaker 2" to the left does to the frequency response at the MLP. It's truly so easy a cave man could do it.


As to optimizing your room to the nth degree with treatments, frankly I'm just not that into that. I've been in many rooms at many avsforum home theaters, and room optimization/speaker optimazation is easy to do in a major way without all that expense that makes it a tad bit better. Use the REW or Omnimic tool to optimize initial physical placements - let your AVR's auto EQ take over from there. I had a super live room in my last theater room and I loved it. I have a more dead room now, and I love it. I don't get too uptight about the details. I'd be happy in either type of room again -- and I had lots of compliments about both rooms. Just optimize the subwoofer placement to start with as flat of an EQ as possible in the MLP, and likewise optimize the speaker physical placement and toe them in to your preference and K. I. S. S.
Use some common principles that seem to work well. Deaden the front wall, use carpet where you can, if you have a drop ceiling install sound aborbing panels an pink fluffy above them, if not install a couple absorption panels like @carp did. Play with absorption panels on the side wall if you like, or buy speakers that have more limited dispersion horizontally (constant directivity type for instance) and toe the L and R in a bit. Don't automatically assume absorbion panels at the first reflection point is the right thing to do because some people say it is. Maybe contra-lateral panels are what you need? Maybe like me you'll find you don't even need panels at first or contra-lateral positions and you're happy with the sound as is. I ended up hanging some 3" studio foam in kind of a strange, unexpected place on the wall behind my computer monitor because I was hearing a bit of a slap echo originating strongly from there. It wasn't really a measured thing. It was an audible fix.


Sure, my room could probably be a bit more optimized with a proper acoustic engineer at the helm - but IMO, I'm pretty happy with the results as is - in just playing around with stuff and using these basic principles. My room, IMO, easily bests any commercial cinema I've ever visited except the newest AMC Prime (premiere flagship theater), and my bass is better than the prime, so I'm really only giving up a little bit to the main speakers (JBL line arrays) the seats, (electric recliners - super comfy) and laser projectors (which are phenomenal). All of which if purchased and installed would probably 10x + over increase the cost I've spent on my room - for no where near that level of appreciation over what I have.

If you want a recommendation on a good professional acoustic design person - dlbeck used Niles from Acoustic Fontier, and his theater is the best I've ever visited --- so I'd start there. dlbeck has very solid recommendations for Niles. Niles planned absorption, diffraction, and reflection treatments down to 1/4" IIRC in dlbecks room. And obviously it worked... I'm just not at that level, not really sure I need to be at that level for my personal financial and interest level.
 

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My vote is OmniMic. But I guess I question with all this sound treatment, sound isolation, measuring and designing you are thinking of doing, has your opinion about building an audiophile system changed and sound isolated room changed? It is my opinion that with a fairly average room and the ability to add room treatments later, with quality components and good DIY speakers you can get some very impressive sound. I ask simply because I was giving my opinion before for a non-audiophile system and little emphasis on sound quality and isolation.
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Thanks Guys and I apologize profusely is I am getting confusing and/or annoying.
Sorry also if I come across harsh. I have a tough time telling peoples tone in text.

omnimic just works.

As to optimizing your room to the nth degree with treatments, frankly I'm just not that into that. I've been in many rooms at many avsforum home theaters, and room optimization/speaker optimazation is easy to do in a major way without all that expense that makes it a tad bit better. Use the REW or Omnimic tool to optimize initial physical placements - let your AVR's auto EQ take over from there. I had a super live room in my last theater room and I loved it. I have a more dead room now, and I love it. I don't get too uptight about the details. I'd be happy in either type of room again -- and I had lots of compliments about both rooms. Just optimize the subwoofer placement to start with as flat of an EQ as possible in the MLP, and likewise optimize the speaker physical placement and toe them in to your preference and K. I. S. S.
Use some common principles that seem to work well. Deaden the front wall, use carpet where you can, if you have a drop ceiling install sound aborbing panels an pink fluffy above them, if not install a couple absorption panels like @carp did. Play with absorption panels on the side wall if you like, or buy speakers that have more limited dispersion horizontally (constant directivity type for instance) and toe the L and R in a bit. Don't automatically assume absorbion panels at the first reflection point is the right thing to do because some people say it is. Maybe contra-lateral panels are what you need? Maybe like me you'll find you don't even need panels at first or contra-lateral positions and you're happy with the sound as is. I ended up hanging some 3" studio foam in kind of a strange, unexpected place on the wall behind my computer monitor because I was hearing a bit of a slap echo originating strongly from there. It wasn't really a measured thing. It was an audible fix..
I think I am my own worst enemy.... The more I read and follow build threads the more ideas and modifications that I contemplate. We do not have a huge budget so I am trying to use our money in the places that make the most sense at the build stage. Equipment can be upgraded but the room is the room. That is good point that treatments can be address post construction, are there any examples where I might need to account for something with acoustics during construction?

Sure, my room could probably be a bit more optimized with a proper acoustic engineer at the helm - but IMO, I'm pretty happy with the results as is - in just playing around with stuff and using these basic principles. My room, IMO, easily bests any commercial cinema I've ever visited except the newest AMC Prime (premiere flagship theater), and my bass is better than the prime, so I'm really only giving up a little bit to the main speakers (JBL line arrays) the seats, (electric recliners - super comfy) and laser projectors (which are phenomenal). All of which if purchased and installed would probably 10x + over increase the cost I've spent on my room - for no where near that level of appreciation over what I have..
I read the post you sent me on your review of the cinema's http://www.avsforum.com/forum/44-movies-concerts-music-discussion/2007882-tomorrowland-dolby-vision-hdr-atmos-el-capitan-theatre-2.html#post34439914. Good stuff and well written.
Maybe this is what I am striving for, a home theater that meets or exceeds the commercial cinema.

If you want a recommendation on a good professional acoustic design person - dlbeck used Niles from Acoustic Fontier, and his theater is the best I've ever visited --- so I'd start there. dlbeck has very solid recommendations for Niles. Niles planned absorption, diffraction, and reflection treatments down to 1/4" IIRC in dlbecks room. And obviously it worked... I'm just not at that level, not really sure I need to be at that level for my personal financial and interest level.
I did reach out to Nyal a little while back and posted the question on professional services here ( http://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-general-home-theater-media-game-rooms/1974417-family-cave-theater.html#post34241722 ) it seemed at the time the general consensus was to DIY, study and research. That's the direction I am going and I think it makes the most sense for my situation

My vote is OmniMic. But I guess I question with all this sound treatment, sound isolation, measuring and designing you are thinking of doing, has your opinion about building an audiophile system changed and sound isolated room changed? .
Sorry if I am muddling up things with all this testing talk and getting confusing. I still don't think that I am an audiophile and looking for a system to that degree. If striving for a home theater that meets or exceeds the commercial cinema does that make me an audiophile?
Really the sound treatment is minimal compared to more dedicated theaters. I always planned to stuff the joists with insulation but only recently have been seriously considering the DD Green glue between the joist for foot fall. This came more to light the one day I was working downstairs and my 5yr old was trying to perfect her head stands.... lots of thumps and bangs... maybe this is not worth the money either.... thoughts?
It's my impression that any room will need acoustic treatment to some degree... its inevitable... most can be done later, any that need to be incorporated during contruction / framing stage?
It is my opinion that with a fairly average room and the ability to add room treatments later, with quality components and good DIY speakers you can get some very impressive sound. I ask simply because I was giving my opinion before for a non-audiophile system and little emphasis on sound quality and isolation.
Very impressive sound, sound good to me. My fear is that at the construction stage is there any thing I need to do to be sure I have an average room or better (within reason)


I am viewing an Omnimic as a tool to try to make the experience of my theater as good as I can get it.
So do you think that I even need an Omnimic or am I wasting my money (~$400)?

Thanks again
 

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It's my opinion if you are devoting ~$400 to a mic and measuring system for room construction you are looking for the upper tier of audio quality. It's also my opinion that besides the high end commercial theaters, it isn't that difficult to out perform commercial theaters for sound or video quality. I've visited many living rooms where the owner used little or no acoustic treatments, no design services, and mid-range priced equipment and had commercial theater type performance and was able to wow almost a lot of people.

Again, this is just my opinion, but I think you could build a standard basement room, install a $2K projector, $2K worth of DIY speakers, $2K worth of AV equipment (AVR, Blu-Ray, Darbee, etc) and a $600 Monoprice screen and impress 80% of the people you show the room too. A mild budget, paying attention to the quality of equipment you buy and basic room design elements will get you 80% of a perfect theater. To get the extra 20% of a perfect theater... that's when the money and time needs to be spent and I would recommend Omnimic and other design elements.

This hobby starts as a quest to get the best bang for your buck. But if you don't keep your eye on the end goal it can quickly turn into obsessing over trying to find the weakest link.

That's my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Thank you @deewan, that's just the kind of reality check that I needed.
Visiting other build threads it is very easy to get influenced away from MY end game
If (and that's a big IF) this hobby turns into an obsession (given the amount of time on AVS, it might be to late :eek:) is there anything I should be addressing now at construction to prevent larger costs in the future to achieve a few extra percent? Now is the time to do it depending on cost implications.


FYI your two cents are very valuable to me
 

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So I'm assuming @ganroth would vote for REW with mic (correct me if wrong) @deewan what would your vote be for?
I know @Archaea uses Omnimic, would love to here his thoughts on the testing
I tend to think of "REW vs Omnimic" in the same sense as "Linux vs Windows" or "OS X vs Windows" or any number of comparisons like that. Any choice is going to have their strong advantages and strong disadvantages. In the end, there's really no way of determining what YOU'D like based just on opinions of other people, since you don't know what specific features will appeal to you in the end.

The best bet is to always try out all options before choosing which one you'll go with.

Personally, I started with REW because it's free (and works with OS X) and figured that I'd buy a different package if REW didn't do something I needed or was too flakey. As it turns out, REW has performed admirably for me and I've felt no need to change. That is, I can't think of any way REW could be better that would justify spending money to get some other feature or work around some issue. But that's me, with my very unique ideas of what I want. You'll need to find out yourself which package works with your own set of unique requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
I tend to think of "REW vs Omnimic" in the same sense as "Linux vs Windows" or "OS X vs Windows" or any number of comparisons like that. Any choice is going to have their strong advantages and strong disadvantages. In the end, there's really no way of determining what YOU'D like based just on opinions of other people, since you don't know what specific features will appeal to you in the end.

The best bet is to always try out all options before choosing which one you'll go with.

Personally, I started with REW because it's free (and works with OS X) and figured that I'd buy a different package if REW didn't do something I needed or was too flakey. As it turns out, REW has performed admirably for me and I've felt no need to change. That is, I can't think of any way REW could be better that would justify spending money to get some other feature or work around some issue. But that's me, with my very unique ideas of what I want. You'll need to find out yourself which package works with your own set of unique requirements.
Thanks for the feed back ganroth, good comparisons with the Linux vs Windows analogy
I think my decision for the moment is to hold off on REW or Omnimic and see how far down the rabbit hole I go with this obsession.
 

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Thanks for the feed back ganroth
Heh... not that it matters AT ALL, but I have noticed that when you write my name, you use 'ganroth' consistently instead of 'granroth' :p
 

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Discussion Starter #80
DIY Rack

Over the last couple of weeks I have picking away at the rack for our home. I say home as my future endgame is to house all media and network equipment within the rack and hopefully have no devices at the displays. One of the reasons for working on this at this stage is to bring down my old AVR and hook up a temporary system..... that clock radio just isn't cutting it.

The inspiration for mine was based on @YW84U and post on his rack Found Here & Here

Inside dimensions are 20" wide x 59" tall and 5 1/2" deep. Its this deep to account for equipment over hang and euro hinges for a door/art to hide the rack.... still figuring

Conceptually this was the plan


In reality I stayed on course only a couple minor changes


I did try two different bracket types
Typical shelf ones


And these "Elite" ones


When in the store looking at them I though that the "elite" ones would be nice simple and because they only use the one side of the rail I could possible use another set to the left (backside) to have other shelf's at different heights. I wasn't about to buy the manufactured boards at an inflated price as I had lots of scrap wood in my shop. FYI the brown shelf's are a cut down old headboard. Well assembly was not as straight forward as I hoped. With the thicknesses that I had on hand I needed to shim, no biggy lots of scrap. I was more of an issue when assembling, trying to get a measurement between the bracket was very difficult and this had to be pretty on the spot of the bracket would be pulled in or flaring out at the ends.
Once they were trimmer to width screwed and installed I threw the level on..... what the... one was a little off level (more on that in a bit) and the other a lot. Well turns out when I was "testing" the strength on one bracket it bent the hook.... that's no good

From below with shim


Side view installed


I then moved on to the typical bracket. These where a lot easier, required oversized boards and just sat nice with gravity.
I tried 16" ones and a 12" and will be getting more 16"

Side view


So my conclusion is the "elite" one might be good with cloths on them but I would not trust my equipment on them.

For each of the self a notch was required at the front to bring it flush to the framing. The framing will be as a place for the DIY face plates to attach to. I'm thinking Velcro but up in the air at the moment.

Notches



So leveling the two rails turned out to be a bigger pain than I figured.... but what I learned in the end was to attach one side with screws then the other with clamps. install a shelf and level by tapping the clamped rail with a hammer. Then install one screw, plumb and they put in the rest of the screws
Also if using the "elite" brackets plumb is very very important as a shelf that fits in the bottom will not fit in the top :eek:
In the end we are plumb and level.
I do have to say that it was nice to use up some scrap 3/4" laminated press board that I had laying around. Good for this project but I would never build something nice out of it. Screwing into that stuff sucks

The challenge I am facing now is where to mount the patch panels that I got from monoprice for all the Ethernet, coax and speaker wire.... I am leaning towards up high but not sure
 

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